Binance Puts a Stop to Money Laundering and ends Accepting Russian Rubles

CZ addresses worries about centralization after Binance freezes $11.8 million in stolen USDT.

In response to the theft of $12.5 million worth of cryptocurrency assets from executives of a secretive customer in Montenegro, Binance has blocked more than 90% of those assets.

Binance CEO Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao said that the executives were kidnapped and their cryptocurrency wallets were emptied by their captors on a purported “business trip.”

Binance was able to successfully freeze $11.8 million since the stolen funds were USDT that had been transferred to a Tron wallet.

However, this rapid response prompted questions from the crypto community, who questioned whether or not cryptocurrencies and conventional banks shared a similar approach to seizing assets. CZ elaborated, saying that transferring assets to centralized exchanges is necessary in order to impose a freeze on them.

“As far as I am aware, if you utilize Monero (XMR), nobody can assist you very much. Until a Bitcoin is sent to a CEX, it may be tracked but not frozen.”

Binance’s quick action is consistent with the industry-wide effort to restrict the illegal exchange of cryptocurrency.

After news surfaced that Hamas had gathered a large quantity of crypto to finance attacks against Israel, major players in the cryptocurrency sector stepped up their attempts to stem the flow of illicit funds in the market.

Leaders in the cryptocurrency space have hailed blockchain advancements as a means to prevent money laundering.

For instance, Coinbase has suggested that blockchain technology may be used to disrupt terrorist funding, despite the fact that conventional banking channels, not cryptocurrencies, are still the most common means by which this is accomplished. Binance has also emphasized its work with law enforcement to reduce illegal cryptocurrency activity.

Binance will halt Russian currency (RUB) deposits effective November 15. This choice is related to the company’s recent selling of its Russian operations to CommEX, a cryptocurrency exchange located in Russia.

The CommEX platform promotes fee-free transfers of Russian rubles. By January 2024, all outstanding withdrawal requests in Russian rubles from Binance must have been processed.

After announcing in September that it was leaving Russia and transferring assets to the newly founded CommEX, Binance has now decided to cease ruble deposits. The lack of information available about the deal and CommEX has, however, sparked some controversy.

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